Raising your head shyly, you stumble over your words as you ask if you can marry a woman instead. Instantly, your lungs seem to fill with a tsunami of panic, as you witness his usually warm eyes crackle – the first grey clouds of a storm saturating the brown hue of his eyeballs.
In spite of the general divergence between the notion of purity and sacredness and the general discourse on sex, I firmly believe that little else in life is as divine as sharing sexual pleasure with another person. Realising this relinquished the shame that I felt and presented itself as an opportunity for me to re-learn how to enjoy sex.
An analysis of billions of hits to PornHub (one of the largest online porn sites in the world) shows that m/m is consistently the second most popular category for women visitors, and that women make up 37% of m/m porn viewers – suggesting that women represent viable secondary consumers of this type of porn.
He sighs and says – aapko apni dil ki baat bataane ka mann kar raha hai (I want to tell you a secret, a matter of my heart). I nod and encourage him to do so. Aap bura toh nahi maanengi? (You won’t feel offended, will you?) Confused and immensely curious, I assure him that I will not take offense. Asal mein, mera mechanic ka kaam tha aur who theek hi tha lekin mere dost ne auto drivering karke ye seekha ki auto drivering karne se sex karna bahut easy ho jaata hai (In reality, I was working as a mechanic and everything was going fine but one of my friends who became an auto driver soon learned that it was very easy to have sex this way).
But TikTok is giving young people – particularly women – in South Asia a new avenue to showcase their talents. While for the majority of women using the app their fame is exclusive to TikTok, an increasing number are able to use it to get paid work. And for many, the platform represents a scarce opportunity for bodily autonomy, and a chance to carve out space as a performer in the face of film and fashion industries that shut them out.